Black striped false mussel (Mytilopsis sallei)

Body contents

Black striped false mussel (Mytilopsis sallei) grows quickly and competes with native species for food and space. It can affect the productivity of commercial fisheries and aquaculture.

What to look for


  • unequal sized shells (one side overlaps the other)
  • smooth, small and easily crushed
  • forms dense clusters
  • sometimes zig-zagged or striped
  • up to 2.5cm long.
Black striped mussel

Where to look

Look in or around:

  • hulls
  • infrastructure
  • pylons

Likely habitats include:

  • shallow waters, up to a few metres deep
  • subtropical to tropical waters

Similar native species

These native species look similar to Black striped false mussel. They do not need to be reported.

Brachidontes maritimus

Black striped mussel


  • thicker, black–brown shell
  • strong ribs along the length of the shell (not radially striped)
  • up to 4.5cm long.


  • hard substrates
  • rocky shores.

Known location is northern Australia.

Goose barnacle (Lepas species)

Black striped mussel


  • white shell
  • rubbery brown stalk.


  • attaches to floating objects.

Known to occur in all tropical and water temperate waters.


Report it

See something unusual? Report it. Even if you’re not sure.

If you see something you think is a pest:

  • note the exact location (screenshot your map app or enable photo geotagging on your phone)
  • take a photo (use something for size reference, like a coin or note)
  • contact your state or territory authority.


Stop the spread of marine pests

Start with these simple steps:

  • Inspect and clean your boat or yacht. Make sure you check hard to reach areas.
  • Treat the hull of your boat or yacht regularly.
  • Clean and dry your fishing and diving gear after every use.

How you can stop the spread of marine pests.

Your location

Check our marine pests map.

The map shows known pests and pests to look for around Australia.

Black striped false mussel

Black striped false mussel (Mytilopsis sallei)

Not established in Australia

Features: Unequal smooth-shells, one side overlaps the other. Small and easily crushed. Forms dense clusters. Sometimes zig-zagged or striped. Grows up to 2.5cm long.
Habitat: Hard structures, estuarine to marine, subtropical to tropical waters.
Affects: Native species, aquaculture.
Movement: Biofouling on vessels.